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 Christening Blog   
Monday, November 23 2015
Christening Gowns and Their Fashion Background

Christening Gowns and Their Fashion Background

Up until the 17th century young babies were wrapped in tight

Swaddling clothes carried to the font in a bearing cloth.

This was a large square of lavishly trimmed silk.

Mid 18th century it evolved to a front opening robe fastened

with ribbon ties showing a petticoat beneath.

The first Christening robes were made in the style worn

every day by 18th century children.

Both boy and girl children wore slip dresses, with a very

long flowing skirt falling from a short, tucked bodice,

low neck and short sleeves. This fashion has remained

popular for Christening ever since.

Partly due to the tradition of handing down these robes from

one generation to the next.

Large families were popular in the Victorian era and a

mother might make one very beautiful gown while she had

the time while waiting the arrival of her first born child.

Although many women had access to a sewing machine

in mid Victorian England the gown, being small and compact,

would often be entirely handmade and could be easily moved

around, from room to room in the young mother's needlework

bag. Once used and admired along with the new baby;

it would be carefully packed away awaiting the next birth.

As a result would become a family heirloom.

Mid 19th century christening gowns were decorated

with fine white embroidery known as Ayrshire work.

This consisted of embroidery worked with extra

needlework fillings and cutwork. This white on white

originated in the Scottish lowlands. When the bodice

came down to the front in a point; with tradition the

point was kept on the outside however when used

for a girl the point would be tucked in when christened.

Mid to late Victorian era christening gown skirts were

lavishly ornamented with pin tucking and lace insertions

with embroided bodices and the baby always topped

with a bonnet.

Very special christening attire ensured that any baby

wearing the best looked picture  perfect for the occasion

and the event of having a family photograph taken

to record the day.

Christening gowns are one of the few pieces of costume

history that has survived across a broad range of

society because they launder well, are small

enough to store easily, and have continued use to

another baby!  

www.christeningessentials.com
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